One of the premier golf destinations on the planet, Los Cabos currently offers 15 golf courses, though six of them are private. Even still, there’s plenty of good golf to experience at the tip of Mexico’s majestic Baja California, also known as Land’s End.
With the pristine Sea of Cortez, Pacific Ocean, and stark rugged terrain as the canvas, legendary designers have carved out their visions of perfection while creating some of the most stunning tracks in the world. Courses have been developed by legends of the sport, such as Jack Nicklaus, Davis Love III, Tom Fazio, Pete Dye, Greg Norman and most recently Tiger Woods. Here’s a rundown on public courses available for play in greater Los Cabos.
Cabo del Sol—The Desert Course
Opened in 2001, this Tom Weiskopf-design features mesmerizing ocean views from all 18 holes, each artfully sculpted through incredible natural surroundings. The course stretches to 7,049 yards and features undulating greens, challenging elevation changes and dramatic bunkering. This target-style golf experience with sloping fairways offers plenty of bunkers that will challenge golfers of all skill levels. A unique combination of desert and ocean, canyon-like arroyos, and a variety in foliage creates a breathtaking backdrop as well as a significant challenge. Golf Digest rated The Desert Course No. 6 in all of Mexico, placing it behind only Cabo del Sol—The Ocean Course among Los Cabos’ best resort golf offerings. (cabodelsol.com)
Cabo del Sol—The Ocean Course
The year after it opened in May 1994, this world-renowned Jack Nicklaus Signature design was selected as one of Golf Magazine’s Top 100 Courses in the World. It has made that list every year since, and currently ranks No. 97. Measuring 7,091 yards from the tips, The Ocean Course stretches more than a mile along a coastline of craggy rock outcroppings and sun-washed shores. The fifth and signature 17th holes are currently ranked among “The 500 Best Holes in the World,” according to Golf Magazine. (cabodelsol.com)
Cabo Real Golf Club
Designed by Robert Trent Jones Jr., Cabo Real Golf Club opened for play in December 1994. Showpiece of a 2,800-acre resort and residential project with 3.2 miles of beachfront, Cabo Real Golf Club features a multi-themed, target-style course that measures 6,945 yards. The recent reversal of the club’s nines have greatly enhanced the layout’s flow and drama. (questrogolf.com)
Cabo San Lucas Country Club
One of the first golf courses developed in the region, Cabo San Lucas Country Club is the area’s only course offering views of El Arco at Land’s End. The picturesque Roy Dye-designed 18-hole course measures 7,238 yards, and is set amid endless cacti and colorful bougainvillea. This resort course sits on 745 acres of prime real estate, which challenges players of all levels and features more than 80 bunkers, gently sloping fairways, and the longest hole in the area: the 610-yard, par 5, seventh. At the resort entrance, a gorgeous fountain and thriving garden set the tone for your golf experience. (cabosanlucascountryclub.com)
Club Campestre San José
Part of the prestigious Questro Golf group, Club Campestre was designed by Jack Nicklaus and opened to the public in 2007. This 18-hole golf course is spread across the gently rolling foothills of the Sierra de la Laguna Mountains, between the mountains and the sea, and features spectacular views from every hole. Its natural beauty makes Club Campestre one of the area’s most desirable golf venues. Measuring 6,966 yards from the championship tees, the well-manicured, par 71 Club Campestre San José is the centerpiece of a 550-acre upscale community that includes a beach club and social club. (questrogolf.com)
Palmilla Golf Club
The venerable Palmilla Golf Club has been recognized as the “Grand Dame of Los Cabos golf.” Famous for offering 27 holes of amazing golf and spectacular views, the Palmilla was Jack Nicklaus’ first signature course built in Latin America. The 27-hole layout features three distinctive nines: Arroyo, Mountain and Ocean. This magnificent course consistently receives numerous resort industry accolades, including Golf Digest’s 75 Best Golf Resorts in North America, Condé Nast Traveler’s Top 100 Golf Resorts, and the No. 1 Golf Course in Mexico by Cigar Aficionado. Palmilla Golf Club gently takes you through 800 vertical feet of the Baja desert. (palmillagc.com)
Puerto Los Cabos Golf Club
The third course in the trio of Questro Golf offerings, Puerto Los Cabos Golf Club features a unique 18-hole composite that includes the Marina Course, designed by Jack Nicklaus, and the Mission Course, designed by Greg Norman. Both layouts are etched into the rolling desert foothills back of the Sierra de la Laguna Mountains, with all 18 holes perched high above the Sea of Cortez, the pristine coastline and the resort’s marina. The Mission Course, a 3,590-yard, par 36, has over 400 feet of elevation change. With its large, flashed-faced bunkers used to signpost the fairways and defend the greens, the layout reveals Norman’s fondness for Australia’s classic Sandbelt courses. The club’s 3,871-yard, par 37 Marina Course features rippling fairways, undulating greens and sculpted bunkers. Set along the stunning beaches of San José del Cabo, the course is open 365 days a year and offers both public and private options for golfers. Recently, Nicklaus visited Puerto Los Cabos on a conceptualization visit, officially beginning work on the front nine holes of his existing Marina Course, which will give Puerto Los Cabos 27 holes of play. No completion date has been announced. Eventually, Puerto Los Cabos will offer two separate courses: A public 18-hole Jack Nicklaus course and a private 18-hole Greg Norman course. (questrogolf.com)
Punta Sur Golf Course
One of the most enjoyable Los Cabos golf outings can be found at the nine-hole, par-35 Punta Sur Golf Course that measures 3,153 yards and is semi-flat. Don’t be fooled by the course’s lack of yardage, for there are some challenging holes that include both water and bunkers. Originally built in 1987 to increase tourism in the southern Baja California peninsula, Punta Sur was the area’s first golf course. Though this course has undergone several name changes in recent years, Punta Sur is a great course for the money. (vidantagolf.com)
Villas de Cortez Golf Course
A great place to practice your short game, Villas de Cortez Golf Course in the East Cape is about an hour’s drive north of San José del Cabo International Airport. Measuring 1,200 yards, this nine-hole, par 3 executive course features holes ranging from 55 to 115 yards, along with a driving range. You can rent clubs for $5. Green fees are $15 for nine holes and $25 for 18. (vanwormerresorts.com)
Los Cabos Golf Tournaments
The ninth annual Los Cabos Pro-Am golf tournament will take place at Cabo del Sol, January 11–15 of next year. The host hotel for the event will be the luxurious Sheraton Hacienda del Mar Golf & Spa Resort. Both Cabo del Sol courses—The Ocean Course and The Desert Course—will host the event. Three rounds of golf and four nights of accommodations, plus meals, gift basket and other incentives are provided. For more information on the pro-am tournament, visit proamevents.com.
Rick Stedman is an avid golfer, RVer and writer. Rick writes a weekly golf blog, “The 19th Hole,” which is published every Saturday at rvlife.com. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.